The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released the fiscal year 2009 Application Guidance for 14 federal grant programs that offer more than $3 billion to help state and local governments prepare for emergencies. That includes the Homeland Security Grant Program, which will distribute $1.7 billion over the coming year through its constituent programs, the State Homeland Security Program, Urban Areas Security Initiative, Metropolitan Medical Response System Program and Citizen Corps Program.

DHS has distributed more than $27 billion since 2002 to strengthen the nation's ability to withstand manmade and natural disasters. "Several years of investment have taken us largely from capability building to performance-based planning and investment," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in a statement. "This year's funding priorities are consistent with last year, and reflect a mature and disciplined grants program. We are now in the position of being able to inform high threat urban areas of their target allocations ahead of time, which will go a long way in helping their applications."

A peer review process and the applicants' effectiveness scores determine the final allocations. The FY2009 Overview Grants Application Guidance form and more information on the grants programs are available at or

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